Sri Lanka’s aging population presents risks, opportunities

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

July 23, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s rapidly aging population could be a big burden in future but also provides a window of opportunity – a time of massive productive labour force and low dependents, a report said. Sri Lanka is the fastest aging country in south Asia, with the elderly population posing many challenges, according to a report by the Labour Ministry.

An aging population will likely result in a decline in the labour force, reducing labour supply and productivity and at the same time reducing demand for goods and services as they will earn less.

Looking after an aging population, especially as their health care costs increase, will place a bigger financial burden on the state and family, at a time when government tax revenues fall with the decline in the labour force.

But the report said the phenomenon also provides a “window of opportunity” and that there were positive effects of aging.

With the population aging – when the percentage of people belonging to the 60 years and above age group is increasing – the average age of the work force is likely to increase.

This is believed to result in an increase in the productivity of the labour force.

Population aging results in